Opening Prayer Led by Group Facilitator

Psalm 126

Pray the Psalm together aloud, alternating verses between two sides.  When finished, share reflections on the Psalm as a group

1  When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream.

2  Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”

3  The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad.

4  Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like the watercourses in the Negeb.

5  May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy!

6  He that goes forth weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen.

Joseph's Conspiracy

Genesis 44-45

1.       Why do you suppose Joseph launches a second conspiracy against his brothers?   What information does he learn because of his conspiracy that he might not otherwise have learned, or might not have trusted, had he revealed himself to his brothers earlier?   Can you name modern examples where either light-hearted conspiracy, or even serious conspiracy, might be an appropriate action for a Patriarch to take?

2.     Judah was the brother who first proposed selling Joseph into slavery, but now he is the brother offering himself as a slave in Benjamin’s place.   What appears to have caused this transformation?  What has caused transformation in your relationship with siblings?  Have you ever had a sibling heroically stand up for you?  How can a Patriarch encourage his children to stand up for a sibling? 

3.     How has Joseph interpreted his life differently than his brothers?  How does his interpretation relieve his brothers of guilt?  How can a Patriarch take dominion over the “telling” of his own story?

4.     In Chapter 45 are the third and fourth occasions of Joseph weeping.  Who gets to witness it?  What are some appropriate circumstance for a Patriarch to weep in front of others?  What are some inappropriate circumstances?  What has been your experience in fathering sons about appropriate times to cry or not to cry?  

5.     Pharaoh is in the 2nd year of a 7-year famine.  Given the context, what is surprising about Pharaoh’s promises?  What is his motivation?  When have you been the second-hand recipient of someone else’s extraordinary work?  In your current state of life, are there any preparations you can make now to “bring others with you” when a future endeavor is fruitful?

Prayer Partners

Discuss with your prayer partner the success/failure of your previous resolution & offer a vocal prayer for one another.